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'Modest' pace to U.S. economic growth: Beige Book

'Modest' pace to U.S. economic growth: Beige Book (by Steve Goldstein)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The U.S. economy is expanding at a "modest pace," according to a report Wednesday summarizing information from the contacts the Federal Reserve uses to help measure the strength of the economy. The characterization, laid out in the "Beige Book" of anecdotal evidence the central bank collects before each interest-rate decision, won't come as a huge shock after data showing zero nonfarm jobs created in August and faint activity in the manufacturing and service sectors. The report, based on information collected on or before Aug. 26, shows that market volatility and economic uncertainty has led many to either downgrade their assessments or become more cautious. The views by the 12 Fed districts ranged from "modest or slight expansion" from five Fed banks to "somewhat weaker" in the Philadelphia region.